Saturday, December 13, 2008

Take Donations on the Web

Accepting donations via the web is a fairly new trend that has been gaining a lot of momentum lately. Whether its a one time payment to the donors favorite charity or monthly tithing to their favorite church accepting donations via the web is here to stay.

Automatic Recurring Payments
Rather than ask your donors to mail a check you can simply forward them to your website for payment. It’s as simple as entering the payment information check or credit card and specifying the days to hit the account. The donor likes it because they can choose the day the monies will be processed. The merchant likes it because its entirely automatic. Every month the credit card or checking account is processed and the money is deposited directly into the merchants account. What could be simpler?

Credit cards vs Checks
Credit cards are convenient but on line checks are clearly the winner here. The merchant pays a low transaction fee and that is about it. The customer has the money drafted directly from their account like many other bills they have. Credit cards are going to cost the merchant more for protections the customer may not need for this type of transaction and they have to write a check every month. ACH or Checks are a welcome alternative.

Accepting Donation Payments
Most payment processors offer code the merchant can put directly on their site. The code usually creates a button or link that directs customers to a secure payment page. Recurring or single types of transactions can be done easily by the donor by clicking the link. If the merchant doesn’t have a web site they can send requests for payment via email.

Virtual TerminalsA Virtual Terminal is a web site that allows credit card or check payments to be made, reports to be ran and a host of other things depending on the processor. If the donor isn’t comfortable with sending payments on the web they can provide the payment information to the merchant for them to enter in the Virtual Terminal. Most payment processors offer a Virtual Terminal with the merchant account.

Accepting donations via the web is something every non-profit company should take advantage of. The costs are minimal especially if using an ACH or Check. Recurring donations are a breeze to set up and allow the merchant to more accurately predict future cash flow. From Tithing to fund raisers on line donations are having an impact on all types of charity’s bottom lines. For the better.

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